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Going to work out at the gym, whether it’s a group exercise class or your own personal mash-up routine, takes preparation. Your gym bag is the one piece of equipment you can’t do without. Here’s a peek into the things in my personal gym bag that help me make the most of my workout.
Nothing happens at the gym if you don’t have your membership card. I’m prone to forget mine, so I keep my YMCA card in a small zip pouch I once received a gift card in. It fits perfectly in one of the outer pockets of my bag.
For my Pilates classes, I use Nike Studio Wrap 2 shoes. They have an excellent bottom grip, making them perfect for barre, Pilates and yoga workouts. I use them both for at-home and gym workouts, but I always keep them in my bag.
>> Read more: Fitness Shoes for Every Workout
Running is one of my favorite forms of cardio, so I always keep my running necessities in my bag: armband for my iPhone (I got my Tune Belt from Amazon), headphones (I currently have some Phillips over-ear earbuds) and a small reflector light for the occasional night run. I also keep a spare pair of sunglasses in my bag for running outside.
I have to have a secure way to store my bag when I’m working out, so I carry a small padlock with a key. I vacillate between two different YMCAs in my area, each with different locker types. I keep the lock in my bag so depending on where I end up, I’ve got a way to be sure my personal belongings are safe.
As a single mom, I typically work out from home in the mornings, which means I don’t usually get ready at the gym. But when I do go to the gym, often I run errands after a workout. And, my run club meets at a local restaurant and stays after for food and drink specials. So in my bag I keep a few essentials to help freshen up, including a brush with extra ponytail holders, a Sweaty Band and travel size body spray. I also keep a tili Bag with sport body wipes for freshening up, deodorant, lip balm, bobby pins, more hair elastics (you just can’t have too many), chewing gum and tampons. I also keep a plastic bag to put super sweaty and wet clothes in.
It seems like a lot of stuff in my bag, but there’s still plenty of room for a towel, an extra shirt, and my swimsuit and flip flops if I’m hitting the pool after a workout. I like to keep my stocked gym bag in my car because you just never know when an invitation to get active may arrive.
>> Read more: Pack a Perfect Gym Bag: 11 Must-Haves
I hope my “must haves” have helped you decide what to put in your gym bag! What are your gym go-tos?